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Relationships Are like Gardens

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.  Hebrew 12:15 NASB

Photo courtesy of pixabay.A pastor’s wife with destroyed eyes came into my practice. She felt her husband didn’t love her anymore. They were strangers living together. They had lost all ability to be intimate.

My heart went out to her as she told her story. I wondered how things had gotten to this point. One thing I noticed from the start was her tone of voice. She sounded like chalk being scraped across a blackboard. Sitting on my hands to keep from putting my fingers into my ears, I tried to look concerned. She felt love was forever, no matter what. She was correct that God’s love is eternal but didn’t understand man’s love is limited by frailty.

Many of God’s children lack a sense of responsivity that grows from not understanding relationships are like gardens—and we are their keepers. A guaranteed way to lose a marriage and other relationships is found in this verse: See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. Roots of bitterness can spring up overnight.

Weed control is a major part of any lasting and successful relationship. Bitter seeds grow plants with bitter—and sometimes fatal—fruit. Faces that eat bitter fruit are sour and unhappy. Going to sleep angry or resentful can result in a snappy remark or demanding expectation the next morning. Smiles and happiness that come from being friends are replaced by energy from competitors expressing their frustrations.

If Satan could speak through Peter’s mouth (Matthew 16:23), he can speak through ours. The emotions seen in our eyes will often determine how our words and behavior are taken. Hurt eyes can minimize the sting of harsh words on an understanding heart. Burning, cold, or cruel eyes make these words seem true.

After helping this pastor’s wife watch her tongue and listen to the tone she used, her husband came in one day and told me something I’ve never forgotten: “You’ve fixed her, doctor.”

Pay attention to weed control in your gardens. You will be glad you did. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Robert L. Segress

The Rev. Dr. Bob Segress served as a licensed psychological clinician for twenty-five years. Upon retiring, he served for fifteen years as a prison minister. Retiring again, he began writing full-time after a period of boredom. He has written: The Biblical Approach To Psychology while serving as a college educator, The Shelton Series, and, in 2012, Ten Years Inside Shelton Prison. Currently, he writes for several publications such as Halo Magazine.